Ostberg, whose fourth place finish on the Acropolis Rally last week moved him ahead of countryman Petter Solberg into third place in the WRC standings, had hoped to contest Brother Rally New Zealand next month in his Adapta World Rally Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC.
However, a lack of additional sponsorship has forced him to skip the trip to the Southern Hemisphere and the Auckland-based round from 21-24 June. He will return on Neste Oil Rally Finland in early August.
“I am very happy [to be the top Norwegian],” said Ostberg, who is co-driven by Swede Jonas Andersson. “We are half way through the season and we have done a great job but we definitely will not be going to New Zealand. Money controls everything and had we done it then we could have missed two events later in the season. It will be disappointing from a championship point of view not to go but it’s our only option and I’m very sad because we’re in a strong position.”